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It’s the best way to go, you can work during the morning, then go home and do your homework.

Patricia Cole


As a mother of six with nine grandchildren, Patricia Cole has a lot of experience around kids. So it’s no surprise she chose to make education her profession.

“I work with 3-year-olds, 17 of them,” Patricia explained during her trip to Ashford University’s commencement in San Diego.

Patricia and her family had traveled to the west coast from Oklahoma so she could participate in commencement after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education degree. Although she was well respected in her Head Start classroom, Patricia said she needed her degree to get ahead.

“We’re required to have an Associate’s degree to be a teacher’s aide, and a Bachelor’s for a teacher position*,” she said.

With her work and family obligations, Patricia searched for a college that could offer her flexibility. A colleague referred her to Ashford University, and it was the perfect fit. “I loved Ashford’s classes,” she said.

Patricia had waited to go to school until her six children were grown. She didn’t have any trouble adjusting to her online courses, and even achieved a 4.0 GPA while earning her Associate’s degree.

“That kind of dropped after I started my Bachelor’s,” she joked.

After completing her degree program in July 2015, Patricia didn’t have to wait long to see her hard work pay off. She was promoted to lead teacher* in her classroom a month later, and now she’s pushing more of her co-workers to get the education they need at Ashford University.

“It’s the best way to go. A lot of the ladies I work with are either married, or they’re single mothers trying to go to school. I told them, ‘You can work during the morning, then go home and do your homework.”

* An online degree from Ashford University does not lead to teacher licensure. Read the special terms and conditions of the degree.

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